Priorities for Different-Sized Groups
Thanks to the organizers of EA Oxford and EA MIT for contributing to this page.
Groups will always be time and funding-constrained, so prioritising between activities is critical. A group’s prioritisation strategy depends on several factors: the group’s stage of development; its members’ demographic, needs and preferences; and its organisers’ skill sets.
To begin prioritising, determine your group’s stage of development. We identify three stages below, organised by group size. All priorities from earlier stages apply to later stages.
We recommend that group organisers tailor our general approach to fit your specific circumstances. It is useful to create a document which lists group priorities. You should revisit the list at fixed intervals, such as every six months, or at the end of every semester. These documents can help you to stay on-track, evaluate progress, and adjust your goals.
Small groups generally have 1-2 group organisers and <10 regular group members.
Connect with the Centre for Effective Altruism and other organisers via Slack for support.
For new university groups, apply to join CEA's University Group Accelerator Program (UGAP).
Run an Intro EA Program/Fellowship. If your group doesn't have the capacity to run one yet, encourage group members (and group organizers if they haven't yet) to join an Intro Program of EA Virtual Programs.
Build relationships between group members, for example through social events.
Create a healthy community atmosphere that people want to be part of.
If the current organisers are considering leaving, find successors and create a preliminary handover process.
Build an enthusiastic and stable core membership.
Medium groups generally have 3-5 group organisers and 10-20 regular group members. Without fail-safes and proper infrastructure, many medium-sized groups may contract.
Complete the small-group tasks listed above
Consider having one or more of your organizers apply for part-time or full-time funding to run your group, by viewing the options here
Connect group members to the broader EA community, i.e. via encouraging them to apply for EA Global / EAGx events
Develop an overarching group strategy with goals to achieve within a given timeframe
Establish infrastructure to maintain the group’s level of activity. Developing formalised group roles may help
Have a robust handover process in case current organisers may leave
Increase engagement in all parts of the funnel model of engagement in EA
Move people from “audience” to “followers” by reaching out to people who haven’t heard of EA before, for example through introductory presentations
Move people from “followers” to “participants” by holding events that help new people become more knowledgeable about EA like reading groups
Move people from “participants” to “contributors” by supporting people to conduct projects, volunteer, attend conferences (e.g. EA Global), take the Giving What We Can pledge, or make EA-aligned career changes.
Move people from “contributors” to “core” by helping them with their career plans via career one-on-ones or workshops
Set up a website so people can find you more easily
Large groups have >5 organisers who invest substantial time into the group, possibly including paid part- or full-time organisers. They're generally at least a few years old with an active membership of 50+ members, large enough to support sub-communities with different interest areas or demographics. Dissolution of large groups is improbable.
Complete the small and medium-group tasks listed above
Attract new members who might be particularly valuable to the EA community
Provide resources to support EA projects
Build excellent brand-presence via your website and perhaps social media
Consider incubating or spinning off cause-specific groups